- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden leads his closest rival for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination by 15 points — his biggest lead since April — according to a CNN poll released on Wednesday.

Mr. Biden had the support of 34% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning registered voters, and was followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 19% and Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont at 16%, the poll said.

Support for Mr. Biden jumped 10 points compared to last month, while support for Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders was essentially flat.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California were at 6% apiece, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas were at 3% apiece.

Compared to last month, Mr. Biden picked up 14 points of support among moderate and conservative Democrats, 14 points of support among nonwhite voters, and 13 points among those ages 45 and older.

Mr. Biden’s gains have come as he’s under increased scrutiny for his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China while the elder Biden was vice president.

But the former vice president easily led the rest of the Democratic field on who voters think would best handle foreign policy, the economy, immigration and gun policy.

Thirty-one percent also said Mr. Biden would best handle health care, compared to 28% for Mr. Sanders and 17% for Ms. Warren.

The former vice president, who has contrasted his own vision with calls for Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren for a universal “Medicare for All” health care system, has picked up 13 points of support on that issue since June.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders were running even on who voters think would best handle climate change, at 26%, while Ms. Warren was at 18%.

Voters did say Ms. Warren had the best performance at last week’s debate.

Among those who either watched or followed news coverage on the debate, 28% said Ms. Warren had the best night, compared to 15% for Mr. Biden, 13% for Mr. Buttigieg, 4% for Ms. Klobuchar and 2% for Sen. Cory A. Booker of New Jersey.

Among those who said they watched the debate, 29% said Ms. Warren had the best night, compared to 21% for Mr. Buttigieg, 13% for Mr. Biden, 11% for Mr. Sanders, 10% for Ms. Klobuchar and 4% for Mr. Booker.

The survey, taken Oct. 17-20, included interviews with 424 registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8 percentage points among that group.

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